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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(8), 10898-10916; doi:10.3390/rs70810898

Accurate Determination of Glacier Surface Velocity Fields with a DEM-Assisted Pixel-Tracking Technique from SAR Imagery

1
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, 221116, China
2
Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100094, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 August 2015 / Published: 24 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3884 KB, uploaded 24 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

We obtained accurate, detailed motion distribution of glaciers in Central Asia by applying digital elevation model (DEM) assisted pixel-tracking method to L-band synthetic aperture radar imagery. The paper firstly introduces and analyzes each component of the offset field briefly, and then describes the method used to efficiently and precisely compensate the topography-related offset caused by the large spatial baseline and rugged terrain with the help of DEM. The results indicate that the rugged topography not only forms the complex shapes of glaciers, but also affects the glacier velocity estimation, especially with large spatial baseline. The maximum velocity, 0.85 m∙d−1, was observed in the middle part on the Fedchenko Glacier, which is the world’s longest mountain glacier. The motion fluctuation on its main trunk is apparently influenced by mass flowing in from tributaries, as well as angles between tributaries and the main stream. The approach presented in this paper was proved to be highly appropriate for monitoring glacier motion and will provide valuable sensitive indicators of current and future climate change for environmental analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier movement; pixel-tracking; SAR imagery; topographic effect removal glacier movement; pixel-tracking; SAR imagery; topographic effect removal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yan, S.; Liu, G.; Wang, Y.; Ruan, Z. Accurate Determination of Glacier Surface Velocity Fields with a DEM-Assisted Pixel-Tracking Technique from SAR Imagery. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 10898-10916.

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